NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Coronavirus: Winners and losers as Scotland eases more lockdown rules

Rachel Lawrence
Image caption Rachel Lawrence welcomed the chance to get back to work

The latest steps to ease the lockdown in Scotland have been met with tears of joy by some business owners - while others remain frustrated they do not yet know when they can reopen.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Thursday that beauticians and nail salons will be able to open again, with enhanced hygiene measures, from 22 July.

However, the fate of indoor gyms and dance schools remains under review and they are unlikely to resume before 31 July.

Beauty therapist Rachel Lawrence, of Cloud Nine Beauty Rooms in Aberdeen, said Ms Sturgeon's announcement had been an "amazing relief".

Bieldside-based Rachel said: "I was so unbelievably happy - tears of joy. It's been a really, really long time coming."

She said there had been "a lot of upset and anger" when it was previously announced that hairdressers would be able to reopen on 15 July.

"Hearing the words that we can open was just the most amazing relief," she added.

"We've obviously all still had bills to pay and things like that so to be able to actually work again is just amazing - really, really happy."

Image caption Mark Boydell said his gym had lost about 50% of its membership

However, gym owners are still seeking clarity about when they will be able to reopen.

Mark Boydell, who owns Mearns Fitness in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, said his business had lost about 50% of its membership.

He believes it will take some time to build that back up again, and hopes that a reopening date will be set soon.

"With no guidelines yet on how we can open, we're working on the assumption we could take eight people in a space like this - cutting the numbers down by four," he said.

"Each square would have their own set of equipment. They would wipe down their equipment."

'We can only hope'

He argued that gyms would help with people's physical and mental health.

"It's frustrating when you see other sectors going back," he added..

"I'm sure our members would love the opportunity to come back and work out. If they thought it was dangerous they would stay away.

"We want to look after our members. We can only hope."

Rachel Young, of Aberdeen Academy of Performing Arts, said she was disappointed for her students that they also did not yet have any clarity.

Image caption Rachel Young thinks children need some normality back

"Online classes are not the same", she said.

"We seem to just have been forgotten about.

"We could open for one-to-one lessons. We've got a large studio. I could have a mask on. There's a low risk."

Rachel said dance teaching was a passion.

"We put our heart and soul into our business," she added.

"We want to get these children back to being themselves. Give us a date to work towards. This uncertainty is damaging."

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